The time of minor poets is coming. Good-by
Whitman, Dickinson, Frost. Welcome you whose
fame will never reach beyond your closest family,
and perhaps one or two good friends gathered after
dinner over a jug of fierce red wine . . . while the
children are falling asleep and complaining about
the noise you're making as you rummage through
the closets for your old poems, afraid your wife
might've thrown them out with last spring's cleaning.
It's snowing, says someone who has peeked
into the dark night, and then he, too, turns towards
you as you prepare yourself to read, in a manner
somewhat theatrical and with a face turning red,
the long rambling love poem whose final stanza
(unknown to you) is hopelessly missing.
--After Aleksandar Ristovic'
Charles Simic, The World Doesn't End: Prose Poems (New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1989).